Originally posted by rjsummers at Reading Alley
This is third in the Wind River Ranch
series by Lindsey McKenna, each one telling the story of different characters who come to the Bar C Ranch in Wyoming and soon call it home. Each is a stand-alone book, however, there are numerous references to people from previous books.
There was much I enjoyed about this story, but before that, my two pet peeves. First, was the head-hopping of the two main characters–Kira and Garret–between paragraphs. Once upon a time I never used to notice that, until enough editors preached to me about it, so now it glares at me whenever I encounter POV in both characters' heads in the same few lines of each other.
Second was the redundancy in the beginning between Kira and Garret's secret feelings for each other. Clearly, while working in Afghanistan, and part of a team unit, they could not have shared nor demonstrated their true emotions or interest in each other beyond "just friends". It is a common sense thing to me, however, it felt like the author was belaboring the point repetitively for more chapters than necessary.
Now, all the main characters that reside at the Bar C Ranch suffer some degree of PTSD as a result of their experiences in the military. The severity and complexity and everyday challenges were all well handled. I like how the author researched the various ways it can manifest and emphatically wrote the character's experiences. I felt I could experience it right alongside them.
Around the middle of the book, the characters really started to shine. Garret's protectiveness of Kira felt real and remarkable. I do wish they'd spent less page time internally dwelling on their true feelings now, instead of excusing to themselves why they still could not be honest with the other. They are ex-military now, no more reasons to hold back. I felt they should just take the chance, and be open and honest with each other much sooner. However, that can be a manifestation of the PTSD, so I chalk it up to that.
The situation between Kira and the ranch owner's ailing father was also wonderfully done. It showcased PTSD in its most honest form, and I caught myself gritting my teeth and wincing right alongside Kira sometimes.
What I did love was the way Garret, and another soldier buddy, Reese, tenderly protected and looked after their lady loves. These are big, strong, warriors, yet Ms. McKenna wrote splendidly of their wonderful job in portraying their softer, gentler, nurturing personalities. It was lovely to read.
Other than a few minor typos and one case of a wrong name used, and the aforementioned issues, I thought this latest edition of the Wind River Valley
saga was a very good read.
I will add this: the cover is a bit misleading, as is the title. Garret is not a cowboy, he does not handle horses in the story with the exception of two lines toward the ending. He spends his time working on ranch machinery, running an odd errand here and there, and spending most of his time with either Kira or the Ranch people, never the horses. He is never astride a horse. Also, the reason for the dog is a mystery as there is no dog mentioned anywhere in the story. Just a head's up not to be looking for dusty cowhands who spend their time talking to their horse or the loyal dog. Perhaps in other Wind River
stories, but not this one.
Originally posted by cherylss at Reading Alley
This awesome book #3 in the Wind River Valley
series features Kira Duval and Garrett Fleming. They spent three years on the same team in Afghanistan and the last they saw each other was during an ambush fire fight. Imagine their surprise when they meet, nearly a year later, at a ranch in Montana aimed at helping veterans struggling to put their lives back together again.
This is a fantastic story that sheds light on the struggles our veterans go through. Also knowing that there are REAL places like the Bar C Ranch is amazing. It's a beautiful thing!
This is a great romance with a touching story. It all felt so real. I can't wait to read the next one.